Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jets' tight end situation still somewhat in limbo


Rex Ryan said earlier this week that Jeff Cumberland is the New York Jets' starting tight end. That's fine and dandy, but we're still well over a month from the beginning of training camp.

Cumberland tidied up his run-blocking skills last year and showed some ability in the pass-catching department in filling in for the injured and now departed Dustin Keller. He hauled in 29 catches and three touchdowns during different stints as the starter.

The Jets, however, are still leaving the door open at the position. (photo: Andrew Morrell, Flickr)

Gang Green is trying out veteran tight end Kellen Winslow at minicamp this week. Winslow spent just one game with the New England Patriots last season but averaged 72 catches for 797.5 yards over the six years prior donning Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns uniforms. He tallied 1,106 receiving in 2007 en route to a Pro Bowl berth.

"I've got years left," Winslow told Mike Vorkunov of the Star-Ledger regarding his recent struggles. "My last year, in 2011, I caught 75 balls. I've been productive. It's just the NFL. It's how it goes sometimes."

The Jets are supposedly high on second-year tight end Hayden Smith, a converted rugby player, but Smith has a ways to go before he is ready to log regular playing time. Konrad Reuland is the only other player on the depth chart at the position with any experience.

If Winslow impresses this week and does in fact prove capable of adding production to the group, New York might have no choice but to throw an offer his way.

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